Body Not Recovered
A young man, a generation, and a nation—changed forever by a war, painful choices, and a conflicted search for honor and peace
THE TRUE STORY : On June 17, 1966, the author’s high school classmate, M. J. Savoy, was killed in a military plane crash into the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam. The search for M. J. and his crewmates was unsuccessful, and each has since been listed as Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.
THE INSPIRATION: What if M. J. did not really die in that crash? What if it were staged for some reason? Body Not Recovered is inspired by and dedicated to M. J. Savoy.
THE NOVEL: When 1964 University City High School graduate and teenage loner, JR Spears, enlists to fight in Vietnam for the noblest of reasons, he begins a journey that takes him from committed warrior to reluctant soldier to underground antiwar leader. Confronted by a conflict they increasingly find abhorrent and unjust, Spears and a small cadre of comrades conspire, with both commitment and foreboding, to stage a helicopter crash, fake their deaths, and surreptitiously return to the states to join the protest movement.
These deserters are not the only ones who risk their lives and personal freedom or whose families are ravaged because of the war. When Maggie Blessing’s brother is killed in action, she runs away from home to join the antiwar movement, leaving her mourning parents. John Muccelli, Spears’s high school classmate, fulfills his lifelong dream of becoming an FBI agent, only to be conflicted by the illegal tactics he is ordered to use to hunt down protest instigators. Bernice Williams, Maggie’s mentor and lover, turns from influential antiwar leader to zealous bomber to victim of her own fanaticism. The war, the protests, these characters, and the soul of a nation converge in the supercharged 1960s and 1970s environment of the Bay Area.
Alan Spector has written four previous books of interest to Baby Boomers, the generation that lived through the tension and turmoil of the Vietnam War/Protest Movement Era. Writing is far from his only pursuit. Since retiring from a successful 33-year career with the Procter & Gamble Company, Alan has been a founding partner of three businesses and has been deeply involved with social service organizations, community initiatives to reduce violence, and education programming. He is a management consultant, baseball player, nonprofit Board member, frequent traveler, speaker, blogger, and most importantly, the active and proud grandfather of four. Alan lives in St. Louis with his wife, Ann.